This is the second instalment of our ongoing interviews with our practitioners. Dr. Veronica Hewstan is a chiropractor and we sat down to discuss life and sport and healthcare. You can also find Veronica on Instagram.
Question: How did you end up being a chiropractor?
Veronica: I always wanted to do something in healthcare. And when I was looking into it, pharmacy and surgery weren’t for me. I found my way to chiropractic care and it felt natural.
It’s not just helping with health and wellbeing. It’s enhancing athletic performance. I can treat a baby that’s a week old, and I have a patient that’s 90. So it’s amazing.
It’s fun and interesting. And people are also interesting. I meet and connect with so many people. There’s never a boring day. And it’s active. I don’t sit behind a desk everyday.
Question: Are desks the devil?
They are. Haven’t you heard? [laugh]]
Question: How was the golf tournament and fundraiser for Tanelle Bolt?
Well, I don’t golf! But, I managed to win the longest female drive! Ha! It was a fun event. The first hole was sponsored by Darcy’s Pub. We raised roughly $22000 to help send Tanelle to Project Walk. She’s organizing for more than herself at this point. So the project is growing. This was the first annual Bolt Classic, but there will be more.
Question: You’re from Calgary?
Well, I grew up here on Vancouver Island and I went to high school at Oak Bay High.
Question: You do sports?
Yeah, I’m into sports. I go to the gym. Slowpitch. Adventure races like Tough Mudder, Spartan Racing and Mud, Sweat and Tears. Snowboarding. Wakeboarding. We ski every Christmas as a family.
My most recent athletic pursuits are dirt biking and yoga. I just started yoga and I’m loving it. It’s very restorative.
Question: Dirt biking?
Yeah, I do that with my son.
Question: That seems dangerous. Yes?
Well, I push weights, so that helps with injury prevention.
Question: Do you do bicep curls?
Everyone does bicep curls. [laughs] Bench press, of course. Hand stands. Squats, for my back. Actually a lot of the resistance training I do so I stay strong so I can do my job and not get hurt.
I also do training on the gymnastics rings.
Question: Wait, you do gymnastics too?
I’m working on doing a muscle up on the rings!
Question: What is that?
It’s kind of like a chin up and then a dip but all in one smooth motion. We have rings in my backyard and my son is working on his moves. He may compete in gymnastics next year.
Question: So you’re competing with your son basically?
[Laughs] Yes, on muscles ups and handstands. He’s winning on the muscle ups and I’m wining on the handstands. He’s by far a better dirt biker. Actually, I went over the front handle bars last weekend and he checked in while riding by. Laughing, of course.
Question: What came first? Athleticism or Chiropractic?
Athleticism. Definitely. Chiropractic was an extension of body curiosity.
I also started seeing a chiropractor, myself, in high school, due to athletic pursuits. I was rowing then. And playing volleyball. And track. My events were 100 metres. I always tried and wanted to do javelin and shot put but I was never that good at those! I lacked brute force and size. Rowing, sweeping, can be unbalanced in terms of your core, so I started seeing a chiropractor.
Question: So, basically you’re an athlete?
Well, I’m probably sounding like more of an athlete than I really am. I’m really not, but I love sport. And I love amateur sport. I love movement. I love variety in movement and I really truly believe in having an active lifestyle.
I suppose I’m also trying to role model for my children, who are thirteen and nine. Mya and Max. My relationship life has been complicated but movement and sport, for myself and my children, has been really important.
I should also add, that not all exercise is about fun. I run, for example. I have to in order to do the long distance races. But I don’t consider it fun. More like torturous. [laughs] So, basically running is a chore.
Question: How long have you been doing chiropractic for?
Eighteen years. The field is evolving and it’s my job and passion to stay current. There’s always new techniques and treatments to keep up with. Even modalities. I take seminars and continuing education classes.
Question: Are you a member of chiropractic groups?
Yes, many! And I pay them all. [laughs] But it’s actually really great to feel part of a professional body – a field and really a movement.
There’s the BCCCA and the CCA (Canadian Chiropractic Association), the CCPA (Canadian Chiropractic Protective Association) and the BC College of Chiropractors.
Question: What’s it like at Arbutus?
I like being surrounded by other kinds of practictioners. We’re offering massage therapy now! I like being part of a team. There are things you can’t do by yourself, like rowing and slow pitch!! You can’t even do a Tough Mudder on your own. And I think this is also true when it comes to business and healthcare.
Question: Do you have a favourite body part?
I don’t! I like them all!